Smart conversion

Many companies in the sector have converted their production to cope with the health crisis caused by the Coronavirus by also introducing PPE – Individual Protection Provisions. With this interview with Jerry Dreifuss, Worldwide Director of Swiss Eyewear Group, we inaugurate a series of virtual meetings with the international companies that have started this production process.

How did your company react at Covid-19?

Swiss Eyewear Group’s first concern was for the safety of our employees and their families. We immediately implemented all recommended measures for social distancing, home office work and supplied employees with PPE. From a business point of view we have focused on staying close to our customers and supporting them during these challenging times. We also reworked our financial planning for the coming 18 months. We have identified our financing requirements and implemented all necessary steps to transition from the COVID-19 crisis back to a more normal business environment with sufficient liquidity. 

When did the PPE production start?

We started PPE production the moment the crisis hit Europe in early March. We have always followed the safety glass market very closely and thanks to our close relationships with key PPE manufacturing partners we were able to quickly react to the increased customer demand.

What are their technical characteristics?

Supplying our customers with reliable, high quality products is of the highest importance to us. This includes having our own people in the factories supervising production and doing the final quality control. We also demand stringent in-house and independent 3rd party laboratory testing from all our partner factories and full, uncompromised compliance with the EU safety standards. 

What was the reaction of the optical centers?

We have been overwhelmed by the demand from the optical community. With the re-opening of the economy, many countries have recommended that consumers take extra precautions to protect themselves in the months to come. Opticians are the retailers with the highest consumer trust and credibility when it comes to eye protection. Therefore opticians are the natural partner for such products. By carrying PPE opticians can offer an additional service to their customers and with that increase their customer base and customer loyalty.  

On which markets will you distribute them?

Swiss Eyewear Group has been supplying PPE across Europe to hospitals, first responders, government organizations, public transportation companies and charity organizations.

Will this differentiation represent an outlet for the future of your company?

Our main focus is and continues to be supplying high quality, affordable INVU branded ultra polarized sunglasses, optical frames, readers and computer glasses to the optical community around the globe. Safety glasses of course will stay in our assortment and we are planning to use our expertise in this area to continuously adapt our offering to meet the PPE requirements of our optical distribution partners and consumers.